I recently wanted to go to the cinema to watch a number of movies – La La Land, Hidden Figures and Lego Movie. Asking my friends if they were free to go to the cinema with me, they all responded that they were busy or had other commitments.
La La Land had already been out for a while and everyone had raved about it, so I knew if I didn’t go now I would miss seeing it on the big screen. Which led me to the choice that I would go to the cinema – alone.
Saturday morning rolled around and I got ready to spend my day immersed in movies. My family looked at me as though I was having some kind of quarter-life crisis – “why are you going alone, isn’t there anyone who will go with you!?”. Through the pity-party they had begun to throw me, my brother offered to go with me. But no, it was too late, I had made my mind up – I was going alone.
Pulling up in a car park space close to the cinema at 10 o’clock on Saturday morning, I felt fine. But panic set in as I approached the entrance, “they’ll think I’m weird” my inner voice said to me. Too late, my legs were moving in the direction of the counter to be served, there was no turning back now.
Putting on my confidence suit that I am a strong independent woman, I handed the cinema assistant the list of times I had worked out, to be able to walk out of one movie and in to the next. Looking down at my scribbled notes in pencil on the scrap piece of paper and back up at me, he had a smirk (of admiration I’d like to think) on his face. With assurance, I heartily joked that I had no friends but had to watch these movies.
Taking my schedule for the day, I walked in and out of cinema screens to sit alone and enjoy the films. It felt empowering – I didn’t need anyone with me to enjoy myself. Had I waited for friends to be available, chances are the movies would have left the cinema and I would not have been able to see them.
Going it alone is not a sign that you are lonely. But a bold sign that you are able to go out there and enjoy yourself, for yourself. You don’t always need someone with you to have a good time. Those moments when we are left to discover something on our own tend to be amazing moments of serendipity. Maybe there’s a sport you want to try, or that new restaurant looks appealing, or even a show at the theatre – if everyone is too busy, why don’t you go alone? If anything, it will be an unfamiliar experience, but it will open you up to new possibilities.
Have you ever been somewhere or done something alone? How did it feel?